AP Psychology Paper Sample

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AP Psychology Paper Sample: Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura is one of the most influential and talented psychologists in the world. His contribution to social psychology is so important that modern research still cannot be compared to it. This person worked a lot to explain different thoughts and emotions that control people’s brains and make them act in some special way. This psychologist was awarded in different scientific areas, which shows his influence on science. Albert Bandura is a genius psychologist that found a way to create theories and do experiments that explained a person’s behavior in different situations.

One of the most important contributions Albert made in social psychology was creating a social learning theory. This theory is based on the fact that “people’s behavior is learned from interacting with others” (McLeod). It means that our behavior depends on others and is learned through observation and imitation.

According to Bandura, it is a result of our experience that is gotten from the environment. This is daily learning that depends on the people who surround us or have an influence on us in different areas of life. For example, our parents, friends, relatives, teachers, colleagues, or role models from social media create the model of our behavior even without realizing it. The fact is that it can not be random people who become the models that our brain wants to imitate. It is a choice for everybody what type of model can influence their emotions or ways of reacting. Some people describe this theory as “a bridge for behaviorist learning theories and cognitive learning theories because it involves such qualities as attention, memory, and motivation” (McLeod).

According to this theory, there are three main principles for learning from each other that include observation, imitation, and modeling. It is important to remember people do not always try to imitate others after observing. It is a combination that includes different stages to make imitation possible. There are four steps of mediational processes proposed by Bandura. First of all, attention is an appropriate part of the whole modeling process, which includes paying attention and having a real interest in the model that expresses certain types of emotions. The next step is retention, which means remembering the behavior that a person who observes will imitate in the future. Noticing the models does not always mean recreating their behavior, as it has to be remembered well. Also, reproduction is the next mediational process that characterizes possible imitation. This is the ability to perform a witnessed behavior. Lastly, another important step is motivation. If a person who observes decides that rewards of the possible imitation are more significant than possible punishment, the imitation will most likely become reality (“Albert Bandura”). This theory can not explain all behaviors, but it is key to answering many questions.

There is also a famous and influential experiment that helped Bandura and his colleagues to demonstrate the way people learn aggression, and it is called the Bobo doll experiment. Albert predicted that observation is the most likely way aggression is shared between people. To check this theory, he decided to make a video of an adult woman beating and destroying the doll in the room. After taping this video, it was shown to a group of children. The goal of this experiment was to see if their reaction to the doll would be the same or not. Right after watching the videotape, children were placed in the same room with the same doll. The predictions of Bandura turned out to be true, because after spending some time in the room with the doll alone, children started acting aggressively, imitating the same behavior that they observed on the videotape (Nolen). This experiment proved that aggression is a type of behavior that children learn from observing, so, for example, aggressive movies or people who surround children are a huge influence on them that has to be minimized.

Albert also developed the theory of self-efficacy. This theory says that “the ability to believe in ourselves is our key to reaching our goals and overcoming phobias” (“Albert Bandura”). Bandura said that people who had faith in themselves were most likely to achieve their goals. This theory proves that believing in ourselves is the way to make our dreams come true.

Albert Bandura is a talented psychologist who specializes in developmental and educational psychology. Many of his works are concentrated around social learning theory. This person is one of the most widely cited psychologists in the world. Bandura’s career gave a lot of answers to the questions people have had. Albert Bandura is a great name in psychology that still has a big influence on this science.

Works Cited

“Albert Bandura.” Goodtherapy, 2015, https://www.goodtherapy.org/famous-psychologists/albert-bandura.html. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.
Nolen, Jeannette L. “Albert Bandura”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Albert-Bandura. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.
McLeod, S. A. “Albert Bandura | Social Learning Theory | Simply Psychology.” SimplyPsychology, 2016, https://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html. Accessed 17 Aug 2018.

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